👨🏼‍💻 #Proposal-86: Navigation Implementation for Desktop

in Steem Dev4 months ago (edited)

It's been a little while since my last update as I've been quietly getting on with the implementation of the updated navigation. I've been wanting to update you all for a while but every time I sit down to write this post, I end up working on the code instead!

In my last update, I said that:

whilst I wanted the Navigation component to sit within the "App.jsx" (the parent display file), the way that the rest of the page is compiled (specifically the User Profile Display) probably means that I'll need to implement the Navigation Component within Lower level components (i.e. within the Pages).

This change was required and I've implemented the navigation in the "Explore" and "Profile" views, leaving the "Post" view as a work in progress.

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Implementation Challenges

1. Inconsistent Styles

When moving the navigation from App.jsx into the individual pages, it quickly became clear that the styles used across pages were inconsistent. For example, in the "Explore" page, the left sidebar is defined using:

image.png

whilst a visually identical left sidebar also appears within a post view, it uses completely different mark-up (and therefore CSS classes):

image.png

In the user profile view, there was no left sidebar at all.

This is one example of how what may appear to be a template-driven site uses different layouts on each page. This might make more sense if I overlay the existing "Explore", "Post" and "Profile" views on top of each other and you'll notice where the variation in where the content appears (by looking at the left margin).

image.png

I wanted the navigation to be consistently positioned and not bounce around so I've had to tweak a few of the existing styles to make this possible.

It's very tempting to strip out a lot of the existing implementation but I fear that by taking this approach, there could be unintended consequences elsewhere so for now, I'm taking a more cautious approach and leaving it as it is.

2. Other User's Profiles

When looking at another user's profile, it was straightforward in the mobile view to highlight the "Explore" tab and simply use the "Profile" navigation to differentiate between "My Profile" and somebody else's.

Due to the hierarchical display of the left-navigation, taking this approach would have the "Post", "Comments", etc. menu items still appear underneath the "My Profile" header which wouldn't make sense.

Since you are "Exploring" somebody else's profile, once you have clicked on it, another level of navigation appears underneath the introduction of their username.

This implementation feels intuitive but I wonder if this has become "Icon overkill".

3. Mobile View

I did of course have to implement this without screwing up the existing Mobile View. I had a few volunteers to test the mobile version which has been extremely helpful and @o1eh has written a post about his experience with it.

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Design

Whilst I've implemented most of the functionality, I still want to tweak the design. I'm a big fan of the use of white space in layouts to help keep things clear but I also want to keep the navigation elements above the fold at all times so probably need to tweak this and experiment some more - as well as reducing "Icon Overload".

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Community Testing

The current implementation is available on a server for some Alpha testing and I'm still keen to get more volunteers to have a look and provide me with some feedback. So if you'd like to do this, please ping me a message on Discord (the-gorilla) or leave your Discord ID in the comments and I'll contact you with a new URL.

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To-do List

  • Implement Navigation on Post Page
  • Include "My Subscriptions" within the navigation (it currently appears underneath)
  • Fine Tune the Design
  • Test
  • Test
  • Test
  • Test
  • Test
  • Test

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There's loads more detail that I could update you on and if you'd like to know anything specific, please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to reply.

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I've been playing with the desktop version for a while now. I have to say, really great, I felt right "at home" despite the changed navigation.

The speed was comparable to steemit; certain things, such as displaying the menus, were even very fast. Only the first call took a little longer, after that everything ran smoothly.

Other User's Profiles… but I wonder if this has become "Icon overkill"

I also like it better without icons. It's nice and tidy this way and the indentation makes it easy to understand visually.

A few thoughts:

  • It would be worth considering keeping the "My Profile" item in the visible area, perhaps even above "Explore".
  • if "Posts" instead of "Blog" was displayed immediately when a profile was called up
  • comments sorted by age and not by trending by default

But those are my personal preferences.

Anyway, respect for your great work, I'm looking forward to your further ideas. And if there's anything else you'd like me to test, just let me know.

Posted using test frontend ;-)

 4 months ago 

This is great to hear, thank you. It was especially pleasing to read this:

I felt right "at home" despite the changed navigation.

I was concerned that experienced users would feel less comfortable with the update so I'm relieved to hear that it wasn't a problem.

It would be worth considering keeping the "My Profile" item in the visible area

Would you be able to send me a screenshot of how it currently looks to you please and the screen where it's not as visible as you'd like? I know that on the Profile screen, the Masthead and Profile Header push everything down - I adjusted the white space in an attempt to keep as much in view as possible when in this view and I could adjust the white space even more to accommodate this.

if "Posts" instead of "Blog" was displayed immediately when a profile was called up

Good suggestion - The response to the quick user test had Posts as the clear "winner" so I should adjust this. Thank you.

comments sorted by age and not by trending by default

"Comments" should be sorted be age although "All Posts" currently defaults to trending (I assume this was a translation difference) - I suspect that I'll need to leave this on "Trending" for now although it's a discussion that's worth having (I think that "Steemit" use Trending to entice people into thinking that they can earn mega-bucks).

Thanks again, it's so helpful to get additional perspectives.

Posted using Steemit.com 😉

the screen where it's not as visible as you'd like?

The area framed in yellow is outside the visible area for me. My screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 px.

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This is what my entire screen looks like, browser window maximised:
TestFrontend01.jpg

to entice people into thinking that they can earn mega-bucks

Haha - yes, that would be possible! Clicking on "age" has become a habit for me, after a change I might accidentally switch to "trending" :-)

 4 months ago 

I've had a play with it and uploaded a revised version (with an updated implementation in an individual post view). I've tried to be careful not to reduce the white space by too much so that it doesn't feel squashed.

My Profile is now visible for most profiles, except for gorillas, which take up a lot of space :-)

image.png

 4 months ago 

I have a long description which I think contains the maximum number of characters so mine is probably worse case scenario🙂

please ping me a message on Discord

I've sent you a friend request.

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